#SolidarityHavdalah: Calling All Jewish Students

CAASE members at an abandoned synagogue in Poland, as part of a Combined Jewish Philantropies/From the Depths service trip.
CAASE activists at an abandoned synagogue in Poland as part of a Combined Jewish Philanthropies/From the Depths service trip. November 2015.

My fellow students,

I call on us to recognize that we face an unprecedented threat. I call on us to recognize that the incidents facing us on campuses are not isolated – they are part of the torrent of global incidents that too often manifests in violence. The alarming trend of anti-Jewish racial hatred serves as an oppressive measure that prevents Jews from openly identifying with their Jewish identity. We are without our right to expression, afraid to display our Magen David necklaces around our necks and to be outspoken about our political beliefs.

We must – we shall – liberate ourselves from conscious hate. We must send a message of global unity.

At the conclusion of next week’s Shabbat, after the Havdalah ceremony on April 9th, 2016, Jewish students and their allies around the world declare their Jewish pride. Following the Havdalah, the statement created by the CAASE: Coalition Against Anti-Semitism in Europe, in partnership with the WUJS: World Union of Jewish Students and NETWORK: The American Union of Jewish Students, will proclaim our global solidarity. From New York to Tel Aviv to Caracas, will make our voices heard.

The campaign has been confirmed at more than 10 universities, including Yale, Brandeis, Clark, Muhlenberg, Emory, and many more. Presently, we are reaching out to universities in in the US, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia. We call on you to join us in the #SolidarityHavdalah as well; we must stand united.

Here is the #SolidarityHavdalah statement. The directions are simple: the short statement will be read after the service and photos will be taken and posted under the aforementioned hashtag. The effect will be tremendous; students will recognize they are at the core of an interconnected, global Jewish community and shall be empowered to breathe their Jewish identity.

We are people of conscience and must stand united.

Looking forward,
Misha Vilenchuk, CAASE Founder and President

#LetMyPeopleLive

About the Author
Misha Vilenchuk is in his final year at Brandeis University pursuing degrees in Russian, Judaic Studies, and History. He is the founder and president of the CAASE: Coalition Against Anti-Semitism in Europe. Misha is also a chess enthusiast; he is the reigning Greater Boston Chess Co-Champion.
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